D700, X100, E-PL3, LX3 owner's X10 Review

Started Dec 18, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Brooks Lester Senior Member • Posts: 1,865
D700, X100, E-PL3, LX3 owner's X10 Review

It's exceptionally good. I just spent a week with it in Savannah, Georgia and Disneyworld. Left the D700 and X100 at home and only had my X10 and E-PL3 on the trip.

The X10 is best "enthusiast" cam I've owned/used in terms of overall image quality and operation speed. Better for me than a Canon S100 or Panasonic LX5 (sold mine), though I'm still keeping my LX3 - I just wish the X10 lens went to 24m on the wide end. X10 color is similar to the X100 - vintage Fuji with gorgeous flesh tones. Ultimately I value flesh tones above all else - nowadays most cameras have reasonable dynamic range and resolution, but color rendering is still not consistent and nor pleasing amongst all the manufacturers. I'm a RAW shooter but find that the X10 and X100 generate very pleasing jpeg color - in fact, it's usually more pleasing than a "straight" RAW conversion. Fuji truly understands color.

The lens is plenty sharp and free enough from distortion at all lengths. Focussing, including face detection/recognition (one feature of these small cams that I find immensely useful) was very fast and reliable - as good as any non-DSLR I've owned. (GF-1, E-PL3, LX3, LX5, ZS3, and lots of non-FD/FR compacts). I don't know why some professional reviews aren't getting good results with face detection - mine worked as well as my E-PL3 and GF-1.

I tested an S100 for a week before getting the X10. The S100 truly fits in a pocket and has an enjoyable menu system, but the slow lens and slow focussing really holds it back. You're aren't going to get any subject isolation on the long end at f/5.9 compared to the X10, either. Color is good but not as good as the Fuji for flesh tones. If you're only going to shoot on the wide end and your subject isn't moving fast, you'll be OK with the S100.

I shot a couple of hundred shots on my trip and never saw the orbs. I mostly used P and S mode - P in good light and S to stop action in lower light. Files hold up well in Photoshop when editing at pixel level (fixing facial blemishes, cloning out junk, etc.)

I found that AWB works very well overall, just like the X100, but renders a slightly cooler balance than my X100, so I set the Blue/Yellow WB adjustment at -1 - 1 notch towards yellow - problem solved.

I only used EXR modes a few times, and I'm sure there's something to be gained from them, but the non-EXR results are very good. I blew some skies during overcast conditions, but most any sub-DSLR camera would have done the same.

I think a lot of folks are measure-bating with this camera and just need to go out and shoot real life with it. It's a fantastic camera, very fast in use, and delivers beautiful images. I'll probably sell my x100 because the X10 has similar color, surprisingly good resolution and dynamic range, a more useful lens, is smaller, and has face detection (and slightly faster focussing in general). I've found that as much as I love the X100, my D700 with a 35mm f/2 does pretty much the same thing but with better resolution, DR, and high ISO, with faster focussing, and isn't much bigger.

The X10 may be a better executed camera than the X100.

These are 640x420's to show color, exposure, and edit-ability - trust me, the original files have very good resolution.

 Brooks Lester's gear list:Brooks Lester's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Fujifilm X10 Olympus OM-D E-M5 +4 more
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